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As a developer I had some thoughts on this matter I wanted to get out since I feel it could affect my current & future projects:
Steam is a private company and as such has the right to refuse game projects at it's sole discretion, and I doubt that anyone would be as pissed if the game "rapelay" was removed from steam greenlight.
That said it does come off as a hypocritical move given that Gabe Newell said in an interview with computerandvideogames.com that "Mario64" convinced him that games were "art".
If that is the position he took, and those are the principles that steam was founded under, it's a highly regressive move to remove the game "Hatred" from the service, as it both undermines and is detrimental to videogames as an artform.
Hatred may not be everyone's cup of tea, but make no mistake it is art, and should be treated as such. Steam denying "Hatred" the ability to be released due to it's controversial content, through what is the most popular distribution service for games, sends a message to game developers that difficult and risky content won't be supported by the "mainstream", and thus may change the kind of content game developers choose to produce.
Speaking purely on my own behalf as a game developer, there are themes that are very risky to deal with in high budget games if you plan on making your money back, and this decision by steam adds another barrier for developers wishing to deal with these themes.
People have classified "Hatred" as a horror game, which I feel is a fair description, the main purpose of horror has always been to make people uncomfortable by forcing them to confront things they would prefer not to think about.
"Hatred" I feel has successfully done this through it's use of nihilistic violence, it could be a genre masterpiece, or it could be trash.
Regardless now it's being denied the opportunity to be played, and discussed on a service which seems content to promote games as an art form. If a steam spokesperson just cut the ostentation and said "we won't support "Hatred" because it would hurt our company bottom line" at least I could respect them for being honest.
Until then this decision comes off as a hypocritical gesture given that steam carries other games which have been demonized and classified as murder simulators previously in the media, "Manhunt", "Postal", "Hotline Miami". Why support these games, which are ostensibly the same thing?
Questions that gamers, developers, and hopefully steam will consider if we want to continue to promote the "games are art" platform… Since not all art is meant to be pleasant...
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